WATCH | 'Our father died in the same shop,' says owner of barbershop where robber was killed

11 February 2020 - 16:22
By IAVAN PIJOOS
An armed man  in a black jacket and bulletproof vest stands guard at the entrance to the barbershop. He was hired after an alleged robber was shot dead inside the shop.
Image: Emile Bosch An armed man in a black jacket and bulletproof vest stands guard at the entrance to the barbershop. He was hired after an alleged robber was shot dead inside the shop.

Thirteen years ago, the man who laid the foundation for a barbershop in Laudium was killed during a robbery inside the shop. On January 31 this year, tragedy has again befallen the business.

This time an alleged robber was shot dead by a customer inside the barbershop, causing fear, anguish, and a loss of business for the family.

Bilal Lado from Al Madina barbershop in Laudium, who referred to his uncle as “father”, described him as “good man” who provided for his family.

Their barbershop is opposite the local school and near a mosque. On Tuesday morning, a few customers came to get their hair cut.

An armed man clad in a black jacket and bullet proof vest stands guard at the entrance of the barbershop. He was hired after the shooting last Friday.

Describing the incident, Lado said: “We were busy and it was very full. Customers and their children were sitting all over.”

Two men entered the barbershop and greeted: “As-Salaam-Alaikum (peace be unto you)”.

“I thought they were customers. One of our good customers was inside of the shop and took out his phone to call other guys to come in from outside. That’s when he [the alleged robber] pulled out his gun and told us everybody must come inside.

“Some people were still outside and they were told to come inside. Our security guard, who was not armed, was outside and ran away. He had no spray, no stick, no gun, nothing.”

Within seconds several shots were fired and everyone scrambled for safety.

Lado said they immediately alerted police and emergency services.

“I was so shocked and very scared. At first the police did not answer and only came after 25 minutes. The guy [alleged robber] died after 10 minutes.”

Four days after the shooting, Lado went through his CCTV footage and noticed  the same gang were at the shop earlier that day.

At the time, his brother was the only person in the shop.

“The four guys were sitting outside and came to check out the shop. I think it was like a plan.”

A bullet hole in the Laudium barber shop.
Image: Emile Bosch A bullet hole in the Laudium barber shop.

Dusty Shekh, who owns a sign designing shop next to the barbershop, said he arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting.

“I came after the police had arrived. I saw the commotion and the entire area was cornered off. I was furious and ran into the shop and saw a dead body lying on the floor.

“According to them, one of the guys [alleged robbers] inside tried to grab a child to shoot him. All of a sudden a guy who had his hair cut done turned around and saw it was his nephew whose arm they grabbed. He took out his firearm and shot the guy.”

“It was quite scary and very traumatic.”  

Shekh said since the shooting they have kept the doors at their shops locked.

“It is not nice because our clients drive past and see the doors are closed so we lose out on a lot of business.

If the person didn’t pull out his gun to shoot the robber who knows what could have happened

“If the person didn’t pull out his gun to shoot the robber who knows what could have happened.”

Shekh called on the government to urgently intervene to deal with the crime wave in the country.

Bilal Razo from Al-Bilal Roti said there had been several crime incidents in the area over the years.

“We got robbed, we got held up, they break into our shop. Sometimes we feel like giving up but because the situation in our country [Pakistan] is not good, we don’t want to go back.

“We are doing the hard work, paying taxes, water and electricity — everything a good citizen is supposed to do but the crime will not let us live without fear.

“We only ask for protection and police to do their job. We work hand-to-mouth.”

Police spokesperson Capt Mavela Masondo said cases of murder and attempted business robbery were opened.